Thursday, March 20, 2008

Less is More.

Barack Obama's presidential hopes have, at least to this viewer, entered the dustbin of history. Whether the voting public, who only nominally decide elections, have genuinely become disenchanted with Obama because they did not approve of Obama's response to his pastor's infamous sermon, or, if the outcome of the latest contretemps is nothing but a sort of self fulfilling prophecy caused by a chorus of pundits who have vehemently declared Obama finished, is quite beside the point. The latest poll numbers are clear, and they are decidely negative for Barack Obama' prospects going forward.

The unfortunate resolution is just one more bit of evidence that the election season is far too long. Besides the dreadful waste of money devoted to these seemingly endless and mostly empty campaigns, embarrassing and career destroying phenomenon come to dominate and overwhelm the proceedings. Great theatre if you like that sort of thing, but I prefer it on stage or at the cinema. The entire election process has been, for quite some time, for a whole host of reasons, somewhat bizarre, but now it bears a certain resemblance to a particularly bad day at a Nascar event where a multitude of drivers end up some combination of scorched, supine and semiconscious. We've already had several "accidents" occur in both the HRC and Obama camps, and had the Republican race lasted as long, or been anywhere nearly as closely contested, they too would have tarred and feathered each other to everyone's detriment.

I suspect the synergy of a far too lengthy nominating process coupled with the chronic necessity of the electronic media to find and stoke contentiousness, is what creates the perfect environment for personal debacles. And so, as fate would have it, this election season has ineluctably become nothing but a war of attrition, a case of who can best cope with the numerous and inevitable hand grenades that explode underfoot. The sort of treacherousness I describe is not altogether new, but now that election seasons are longer than ever, this central fact of U.S. presidential campaigns looms larger than before. As such, it is very difficult to not feel that where U.S. Presidential campaigns are concerned, less (much less) would be more. So, whatever one may think of Obama, and what I'll dub, for no reason other than the sake of identification, Pastorgate, the cannibilization of candidates that comes as a result of too much scrutiny over too long a period of time, serves no one except perhaps a rapacious media hungry for a certain sort of crass copy... and of course the audience that deems it worthwhile.

No comments: